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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI student commencement speaker named

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 11, 2001 -- After four full years of classes, activities, and fraternity life on the University of Rhode Island campus, Nicholas Talarico says that what he will remember most from college are the people he has met and the friends he has made. At URI’s 115th undergraduate commencement, Talarico will address those friends, in addition to professors, faculty, members of the community and other notables, as the 2001 student commencement speaker.

He will present his speech at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20 at 12:30 p.m. on the quadrangle of the Kingston Campus.

"I feel that college has been an amazing experience. College is more than just classes; it’s about the people. For me in many ways the people are the best part," explained Talarico.

Talarico was chosen as the class of 2001 student speaker by the URI Senior Speaker Selection Committee based upon his delivery, verbal skills, and his speech’s content. Talarico’s speech looks at the different elements of going to college and the memories that students will take with them.

"When it comes to looking back, college was an experience that was had inbetween classes and exams. It’s the knowledge we accumulated when we weren’t taking notes, it’s the tests we never studied for, and the teachers that didn’t have doctorates," he writes in his speech.

Talarico said that he worked hard to make his speech appeal to all students at commencement and to stress what it is that makes URI so unique. Using humor, he describes the "annoying yet adorable" Rhode Island accent, the craziness of Oozeball, and infamous sports rivalries.

"I had to think a lot about the specifics of the college experience...things that students normally don’t think about. I hope the speech makes others think about them, too, and I hope the students enjoy and can relate to it. I tried hard to make it universal," said Talarico.

Talarico, a political science major from Scarsdale, N.Y., took his multitude of college experiences into account in his speech. He made the most out of his four years at URI by taking part in numerous organizations, most notably as a three-year member of the Student Senate, a resident assistant in Weldin Hall, an orientation leader, a URI 101 mentor, Homecoming King, a member of the URI Musicians Guild, and a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. He will spend this summer as a mentor, teaching at-risk students at an academic camp in Boston, an endeavor inspired by his experiences with his mentor and Political Science Professor Alfred Killilea.

"The whole experience of college helped me to develop confidence in myself. I’ve changed a lot and learned a lot about myself, like who I am and where I want to go. It’s been an amazing experience and I’m glad I could take part in commencement," said Talarico.

For Information: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-2116, Jennifer Smith, 401-874-2116

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